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Restaurant apologises after staff 'told not to take bookings from Gypsies'

Restaurant apologises after staff 'told not to take bookings from Gypsies'

El Prado by Martinez, a restaurant in Bridgend, South Wales, told staff they had a 'no gypsy' policy for bookings

A restaurant in South Wales has apologised after WhatsApp messages in which staff were told to cancel any ‘gypsy bookings’ were made public.

The staff at El Prado by Martinez in Bridgend, which is part of a chain of restaurants, were informed via the encrypted messaging app that the business was operating a ‘no gypsy’ policy.

Staff were also told to ‘check your bookings every day and if you spot any Gypsy booking cancel it straight away’.

They were also told to cancel any current bookings that were made by anyone from the Traveller community.

Now, the bosses at the four-star TripAdvisor rated restaurant have apologised for the discriminatory remarks.

The management at the Mediterranean restaurant said: "We welcome all bookings from the Traveller community."

El Prado in Bridgend has apologised for the discriminatory messages.
Google Maps

In a Facebook statement, the company added: "We take discrimination very seriously and have a clear zero tolerance policy for all of our team members.

"We'd like to apologise for any offence that may have been caused, and reassure members of the travelling community that we are dealing with this matter immediately."

The news broke because the WhatsApp messages were given to anti-racism group Report Racism GRT.

The organisation specifically supports the Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities in cases of discrimination.

Report Racism GRT said: "Refusal of service is the highest form of discrimination levelled at the Gypsy, Roma, and traveller communities and this type of rhetoric is not uncommon.

"However, that said, it is rare that we receive hard evidence of this being a booking policy.

The full apology from El Prado.
Facebook/El Prado

"Any form of discrimination or racially motivated abuse is unacceptable, and we will challenge it whenever and wherever we see it."

In the messages, instructions on how to check whether bookings were being made by members of the Traveller community were also given, with one message marked ‘important’ in capital letters.

It read: "Always start by entering the telephone number of the customer when using ResDiary [booking system] to book tables over the phone, this way ResDiary will show if the customer are blocked so you could tell them that we are fully booked."

The restaurant told staff not to accept 'gypsy bookings' (stock image).
Maskot / Alamy Stock Photo

Another message said: "Just to make you aware, I just had a… family trying to book a table for Father's Day."

A recent report from the Welsh government revealed that Gypsies, Roma, and Traveller people face serious discrimination in Wales, and called for action to solve ‘wide-ranging failures’ by the government and councils.

A spokesperson for the government said that it would ‘continue to work closely with the Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities to address the concerns raised’.

Featured Image Credit: Google Maps/Maskot/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: UK News, Racism